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Queen Victoria
120th Anniversary

  • Limited to 199

  • Layered in precious ruthenium and 24-carat gold

  • Unites profile portraits featured on Victorian-era coinage

  • Approved for minting by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

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In an era dominated by monarchs whose excesses and egos damaged the British monarchy, Queen Victoria’s reign transformed that same monarchy into the the most powerful and prosperous of the 19th century. Victoria’s stewardship of the realm and her keen understanding of statecraft stabilised the British Empire whose dominance in world affairs lasted well into the 20th century.

Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent was born on 24th May, 1819 to the Duchess of Kent and Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. Her lineage made her fifth in line of the throne, behind her father and three elderly uncles. With the death of her father when she was just eight months old, the young princess endured a lonely, miserable childhood dominated by a controlling mother and power-seeking courtiers who had her mother’s ear. Upon the death of her uncle King William IV, Victoria was proclaimed Queen on 20th June 1837 at the tender age of just 18 and freedom was hers.

The early years of her reign were marked by scandals created to discredit the popular young queen, but her reputation endured. Victoria’s life was to change forever when she met with her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1839. A romance blossomed into marriage on 10th February 1840. During the ceremony, Victoria wore a white dress, a novel concept for the time, but one which created the tradition of the white wedding which endures to this day. A tempestuous but loving relationship, the royal couple fostered the notion of the constitutional monarchy to stem the tide of republicanism growing in Britain during the mid-19th century. To this end, Victoria became a monarch for the people as a patron of 150 organisations and many charities. Albert took an interest in education, science and the military. Together, Victoria and Albert brought a focussed, “grass roots” approach to the role of the monarchy and reinforced its importance to the well-being of its subjects. From the loneliness of her childhood, Victoria’s life now seems complete. But her life changed once more when her beloved Albert died of typhoid fever on 14th December, 1861. The union bore nine children and secured the future of the monarchy, but Victoria would mourn Albert’s loss for the rest of her life. The Queen essentially withdrew from public life to cope with his passing.

By the 1870s, anti-monarchist feelings were again on the rise. Victoria put her own needs aside and began a gradual re-emergence. Britain’s imperial interests were also growing during this period. On the advice of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Victoria approved the incorporation of Britain's possessions and protectorates on the Indian subcontinent into the British Empire. On 2nd January, 1877 Victoria was proclaimed “Empress of India.” As Britain’s global and economic interests expanded, so too did its position as the most powerful nation on earth. Victoria’s personal popularity reached new heights at this time as she became the enduring symbol of British sovereignty across the globe. Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee on 20th June, 1887 and her Diamond Jubilee on 22nd June, 1897. Both events were commemorated across the British Empire including Australia and New Zealand and confirmed the affection in which the elderly Victoria was held.

The Victorian Era came to an end on 22nd January 1901 with Queen Victoria’s passing. Her death brought into focus the longevity of her reign and the extent of her empire. By the dawn of the 20th century, the British Empire encompassed 400 million subjects and a wealth and prosperity that few nations had ever experienced. On her passing, Victoria remained Britain’s longest reigning monarch, a record held for over a century and only recently surpassed by her great-great granddaughter, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

Issued on the 120th anniversary of her passing, the new “Queen Victoria 120th Anniversary Double Crown” symbolises the enormity of her reign, showcasing four profile portraits of Victoria inspired by those used on coinage during her reign. Layered in priceless ruthenium with accents of shimmering 24-carat gold, the edition, approved for minting by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, shines as an enduring tribute to one of the most noble, steadfast and auspicious monarchs the world has ever known.

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